United States v. White Mountain Apache Tribe, 537 U.S. 465, 14 (2003)

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Opinion of the Court

remedy could have been intended, absent a specific provision. In Sheehan, specific authorization was critical because of a statute that generally granted employees the damages remedy petitioner sought, but "expressly denie[d] that cause of action" to Army and Air Force Exchange Service personnel, such as petitioner. 456 U. S., at 740. In Sheehan, resting in part on Testan, the Tucker Act plaintiffs unsuccessfully asserted that the Court of Claims had jurisdiction over a claim against the United States for money damages for allegedly improper job classifications under the Classification Act. We stressed that no provision in the statute "expressly makes the United States liable," Testan, 424 U. S., at 399, and rather, that there was a longstanding presumption against petitioner's argument. "The established rule is that one is not entitled to the benefit of a position until he has been duly appointed to it . . . . The Classification Act does not purport by its terms to change that rule, and we see no suggestion in it or in its legislative history that Congress intended to alter it." Id., at 402. Thus, in both Sheehan and Testan we required an explicit authorization of a damages remedy because of strong indications that Congress did not intend to mandate money damages. Together they show that a fair inference will require an express provision, when the legal current is otherwise against the existence of a cognizable claim. But that was not the case in Mitchell II and is not the case here.

Finally, the Government argues that the inference of a damages remedy is unsound simply because damages are inappropriate as a remedy for failures of maintenance, prospective injunctive relief being the sole relief tailored to the situation. Reply Brief for United States 19. We think this is clearly wrong. If the Government is suggesting that the recompense for run-down buildings should be an affirmative order to repair them, it is merely proposing the economic (but perhaps cumbersome) equivalent of damages. But if it is suggesting that relief must be limited to an injunction to

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